Probe in Sexual Harassment at Australian FIFO Mining Camps
Reuters reported that Australia's mining industry is bracing for a government inquiry that is expected to shed light on sexual harassment in the country's mineral-rich west, as the sector struggles with a dire skills shortage and low female representation. Conditions at Western Australia's mining camps have worsened sexual harassment and the issue has prompted the industry to take a stand against a culture they say has to change. Major miners including BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue are among those expected to make submissions to the state government inquiry, which will make recommendations to West Australia's parliament in April 2022. Submissions close on Friday and become public next week.
Workers typically live at isolated fly-in, fly-out FIFO camps for a fortnight at a time in Western Australia's mining belt, the source of much of the country's economic prosperity. Women make up roughly one in five FIFO workers and critics say recreation facilities have become hubs for drinking alcohol and created poor camp cultures that miners need to address.
In a 2020 report, the Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into sexual harassment found that 74% of women in the mining industry had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the past five years, partly due to the gender imbalance.